For PIs and Research Support
This page contains information to help Principle Investigators (PIs) or research support staff include services or resources from Advanced Research Computing in grant applications. It will help ensure that included costs for BEAR services are appropriate, and improve the likelihood of the bid being successful by including or mentioning the most appropriate research computing services that the University provides.
If possible please get in touch before you include BEAR services in a grant application. This allows us to give advice and ensures we are aware of any bids that include things we provide. We know that sometimes funding deadlines are very short, and so this page contains the information you need if you are writing a bid in a hurry!
It can also be valuable to mention in grant applications the freely available standard BEAR services (provided by the University and paid for from central funds, much of which comes from the Estates charge on successful grant applications, the same as all other core IT services).
These include allocations of time or resources for short BEAR Software engagements or BlueBEAR, Research Data Store, CaStLeS, etc. These are centrally funded by the university and thus an important university contribution to a research project.
The University provides up to 3TB research data storage to all projects as standard. If you need more than 3TB then you should include it in your grant application. For detailed guidance and costing see BEAR Research Data Storage Costs.
We have also created a guidance document to help you include information about storage in your Data Management Plans.
The University provides a substantial and freey available high performance computing (HPC) service, called BlueBEAR. This HPC service, or supercomputer, is often sufficient for the HPC needs of research projects. All BlueBEAR resouces can be accessed by traditional command-line batch HPC, but also by our interactive BEAR Portal, which is particularly suitable to new users of HPC or researchers who prefer using Jupyter notebooks or RStudio.
In the same way, life science researchers can also access the dedicated CaStLeS resources in BlueBEAR. Please see the CaStLeS funding page for guidance on what to include in your grant application.
In some circumstances the default BlueBEAR service is not sufficient. In this case we offer mechanisms for including costs for dedicated or priority BlueBEAR access in your bid. Priority BlueBEAR access is an efficient way of getting larger or faster access to HPC than provided by the free service.
University of Birmingham researchers are also eligible to use some regional and national HPC facilities. These are excellent services for those researchers with substantial HPC or GPU requirements. The two most commonly used such facilities are Baskerville and Sulis - both EPSRC-funded but available to all researchers at the University, following a successful request for access.
Some research projects need a BEAR Cloud virtual machine, for example to carry out specific compute tasks or to host certain types of research website. Costs for a BEAR Cloud virtual machines will need to be included in your grant application.
Research Software Engineers
As with most BEAR services, BEAR Software offers a limited Research Software Engineer (RSE) service as part of its default service. Our free engagements are relatively short, e.g. two weeks of coding or ten half-days of coaching.
To include more substantial RSE time in grant applications we have created a Pool of RSEs for funded work. These are permanent staff of Advanced Research Computing who can be bought out and included in research projects. This pool model allows us to provide, for example, half an FTE of RSE time for (say) six months, without the need to recruit a new staff member - and at the end of that time the RSE (and their skills) can stay at the University and contribute to further research projects.
We also include guidance for how to include an RSE in Worktribe on our Pool of RSEs for funded work page.
If you are considering including an RSE in a grant application please get in touch with us at an early stage by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org .